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Home arrow newsitems arrow Greek European affairs Minister incoming CoE Chair Varvitsiotes to EF: Program+Turkey ="EU Shield"?

Greek European affairs Minister incoming CoE Chair Varvitsiotes to EF: Program+Turkey ="EU Shield"?

Written by ACM
Monday, 09 March 2020



*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- With an eye towards the Future Development of Human Rights, particularly of Young People (See Infra), but also Firmly anchored in Nowadays GeoPolitical Challenges, and particularly the Urgent Need to Protect EU's External Borders, facing even more Turkey's Smuggling of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular migrants, now at Evros river, (See: ..., etc), Experienced Greek Minister for European affairs, former Long-Time Top MEP, Miltiades Varvitsiotes, and incoming CoE's Chairman-in-office, spoke to "Eurofora" in Strasbourg, just after meeting with new CoE's Secretary General Marija Buric, former vice-Prime Minister of Croatia, and ECHR's President Alexandros Sicilianos, on the Draft Program of the forthcoming Greek Presidency of the PanEuropean CoE from May to November 2020, (See Infra).                       


+ Meanwhile, EU Parliament's plenary, (meeting exceptionaly in Brussels, reportedly because of "Coronavirus"' spread in France, after neighbouring Italy), is due to discuss, later this week, Ankara's unprecedented Provocations around Evros' Borders and those (Gas, Stones, Fires, Knives' abusing) Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants (mainly from Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc., often more than 13.000 per Day, according to the IOM+) that Turkish Authorities have reportedly Backed (including by Buses' Transports from Istanbul, 1.000 Turkish Security Agents send on the spot, relevant Statements, etc). Turkish President Erdogan already is in Brussels for meetings, since this Monday, just After launching a provocative Call for "Greeks" to "Open the Borders" (sic !) and "let  them go towards Other (EU) Countries" !... On the Contrary, the Greek Government has notoriously decided to stick to its Sovereign Right and Duty to Protect its National and EU's External Borders.



>>> - "Turkey Exploits innocent people, for its Political aims, and in order to Blackmail the EU !", criticized Varvitsiotes Today at Strasbourg, in reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, speaking of a "Stern Denonciation against the Turkish stance" on Evros.

=> Therefore, "CoE" should be very "Careful" on the way that "Human Rights"' approaches might be grossly abused (manipulated) in such cases, and avoid to "fall into a (sly) Trap", he Warned.

>>> "In Front of that, a European Shield has been raised, at EU level", Miltiades Varvitsiotes pointed out.

- Indeed, "the Declarations of all European Institutions' Presidents (EU Commission, Parliament and Council) are Crystal-Clear, last week in Athens". "Justice and Home affairs (JHA) Ministers' declaration, as well as that of Foreign Ministers, is also very clear, as they were formulated". "And it's, moreover, pretty clear, Today's statement by EU's High Representative on Foreign and Security policy, Borel, in view of his meeting with the Turkish President (Erdogan)" in Brussels. So that, "all the Framework of this Resistance and (European) Shield is crystal-clear", he resumed.  

- However, "even if, here or there, might, eventually, be some who don't see well enough all those political facts, we try to Enlighten them, and God help us...", he realistically concluded, with a visible fighting spirit for any relevant Ideological battle whenever necessary...    

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+ But, at the same time, Authentic Human Rights issues are at the Forefront of the incoming Greek rotating Presidency of the CoE (May-November 2020), which coincides with the 70th Anniversary since the Signing of its PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights (1950 - 2020), inter alia, also by discussing its "Implementation" until now, as well as in the foreseable Future, according to a Key "Non-Paper", presented Today in Strasbourg to CoE's main Officials, and communicated also to "Eurofora" by the competent Minister Varvitsiotes. In Addition, the Greek Government has already proposed ECHR for the Peace Nobel Prize this year.

- Starting almost at the same Time as EU's exceptional "Conference on Europe's Future" (2020-2021), CoE's Greek Presidency of 5-11/2020 is due to be "Focused mainly on Young People", i.e. Forward looking, turned "towards the Future", Varvitsiotes observed.     

- "We should Cooperate impeccably" with CoE's Secretary General Marija Buric, inter alia, also because "I think that the Greek Presidency's main Priority on Young Generations Fits quite well with those of the CoE itself currently", since the PanEuropean Organisaton "has just (12/2019) outlined a Strategy for the period of 2020-2030" on Youth policy, "so that the fact that a rotating (Committee of Ministers') Presidency intends to Invest into that, is Important", he pointed out.     



=> - For the time being, "We (the Greek CoE's Chairmanship 5-11/2020) have traced 4 Axes in that : (1) First, Young People's involvement into DEMOCRATIC Institutions, their Protection from "Fake News", how to Augment their participation, issues about Artificial Intelligence, etc., and how that forms a Framework of Rights". (2) The Second concerns Problems of VULNERABLE persons : Poverty, Human Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, UnAccompagnied Minors,  etc. (3) The Third part has to do with CULTURAL HERITAGE and its Protection and Maintenance despite Climate Change, as a Right for Young People to Enjoy that in Future" ; (4) And the Fourth Axis is related to the (CoE's) Charter of SOCIAL RIGHTS, vis a vis Young People".

+ In Parallel, "we also take a View on the Incorporation of ECHR's case-law into Member States", he added, (Comp. Supra), while praising ECHR's President Sicilianos as an "Excellent Jurist", "who contributed a lot" in that Program.

Significant of the Importance that the Greek Presidency attributes to Democratic Participation issues, is also the fact that Varvitsiotes met, Today, with CoE's Director General on Democracy Snezana Markovic, from Serbia, (while the above-mentioned "Non-Paper" adds a Reference also to "Digital" Technologies here, similar to "Eurofora"'s Project).

=> - "I think that all this forms a well-Structured Program, whose Issues, naturally, cannot be solved during a rotating chairmanship, neither exhausted, but they can he Highlighted, and joined to various relevant Initiatives", he concluded.

+ "Inter-Generational Solidarity : Important !"

 - "And, what about Aged People ?", "Eurofora" questioned Varvitsiotes, pointing, f.ex., at a previous EU Campaign in favour of "Inter-Generational Solidarity", (as it was nick-named), which had strived to Bring Together Young and Aged People, Near to eachother".

- In Reply, the Greek Minister slamed the Opposite, counter-example, of a Controversial Satirical Author who had portrayed Aged People as "Vampires", exploiting the Young through the Social Security/Pensions' system, and inciting the Youth to become a kind of "Canibals" against the Aged persons (sic !)...

=> "No", he reacted : On the Contrary, "Inter-Generational Solidarity is an Important matter. Both Politically, and Socially, as well as Substantialy", Varvitsiotes positively stressed to "Eurofora", (i.e. apparently accepting to Include it, in one way or another, inside the wider context of that Greek CoE's Presidency Draft Program).

+ Bio-Ethics : - "Keep an eye" ?

 - About "Childrens' Human Rights", Questioned by "Eurofora" about the current Popular Demonstrations and Protests, in France and elsewhere in the World, on the Controversy concerning the Child's elementary "Right to have a Mother and a Father", (reportedly emanating f.ex. from some UN-related official texts, etc), Opposite to some currently Controversial and UnPopular Attempts for certain Lobbies (f.ex. in France, etc) to exert Pressure on Politicians to accept Dangerous Artificial Births asked by Lesbians, inevitably Exposed to manifold Dangers of Genetic Manipulations, etc.,  Varvitsiotes carefully but positively Replied that, in principle, "we don't enter into such Issues", "But we Open spaces for Debate, where they could be Discussed, together with others"...         

+ Concerning "Bio-Ethics" in General, despite the currently "Hot" and Topical dimension of several among those Issues, (f.ex. on Heritable Genetic Editing, transmissible also to Future Generations, See: ..., etc), nevertheless, as things stand now (i.e. with that Draft "Non-Paper" on the incoming Greek CoE's Presidency's main "Priorities", drafted mainly by Ambassador Beglites in Strasbourg, as he told "Eurofora", in cooperation wtth several CoE's Officials, etc), "it appears Difficult" to include them inside that Draft Plan, Varvitsiotes acknowledged. However, given the Importance of the Issues, as well as his genuine personal Interest, that he had already shown while serving as Top MEP in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly during a Long Time), - "We shall Keep an Eye", whenever something really Important might emerge, during the (Greek CoE's Committee of Ministers) Presidency, he promised...











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Sarkozy and Merkel : June 2009 solution to May 2005 "NO" ?

 - Will French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel live up from June 2009 to their obvious Historic European mission to revitalize, and re-launch the "European Dream", after the series of 3 "NO" since May 2005 in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, by renewing, and changing the EU with fresh stimulus, big horizons, and values attractive for EU Citizens ?

Whatever views anyone might have, it's a Fact that, recently, EU's political spectrum didn't produce other more charismatic and popular EU leaders than Merkel and Sarkozy, starting from September 2005 and May 2007, respectively.

This trend was confirmed, in one way or another, both during the German EU presidency in 2007 (shared by Merkel with the SPD), and mainly during the French EU Presidency in 2008, (with Sarkozy "free" to move).

The positive 2009 EU Polls are a natural consequence :

- Both with 72% Sarkozy and Merkel are considered by EU Citizens to be "the most Influential" leaders in Europe, by far.

- They are the only EU political leaders to attract a Majority of "Positive" views by EU Citizens, (Merkel over 60%, Sarkozy over 50%, particularly in the continent).

- 60% of EU Citizens find the 2008 French EU Presidency "Good", (and the satisfaction grows up to 67,5% in continental Europe).

The Poll was made by "OpinionWay" in big EU countries as Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, (with the only exception of France), from 26 to 28 May 2009.


But the most important is that both Franco-German leaders seem willing to, at last, really start serious business on EU's indispensable renovation and Renaissance from 2009 : Year of crucial EU and German Elections.

Therefore, this time, the joint European move by Sarkozy and Merkel, which just published a common Franco-German Manifesto, aims to stimulate aspirations and action not only in their respective countries, but also in many other EU "partners", as they say.

Both on EU economy, social values and scientifico-technologic research, as well as on Turkey's controversial EU bid, obviously incompatible with a popular Political Europe, whose Citizens can find a collective Identity and popular Values, they have already started to magnetize various growing voices accross the European landscape :

"Today, more than ever, it' time for action", they stress from the outset.

Facing "an unprecedented Global financial and economic Crisis", "Europeans must get resolutely involved if they want for the World which is being built to meet their Values of Liberty, Solidarity and Justice".

"That's what we want" and "propose to our Partners" :

* "A strong Europe, able to protect us" :

- "We refuse a Bureaucratic EU, which mecanically applies burdensome rules and is afraid of change. We want a European Union which listens what Citizens have to say, which innovates, stimulates".

- "We want a strong and united EU in the World, while also respecting its Member States' Diversity", which "brings Courageous Replies to the Questions of our Times, ensuring our Prosperity :  

This implies to "favor Research and Innovation", "Economic Coordination", to "develop real Policies on Immigrationn, Energy, Defence, and modernise  common policies, particularly Agriculture".

*  "EU must bring immediate replies to the Global Crisis".

- "Lawless liberalism failed". "The Model we want is that of a Responsible Market Economy, which favors Enterpreneurs and Workers, above Speculators ;  Long-term Investment, over immediate profiits".

- "We appeal upon the EU to take, from June, the first decisions to ensure a real European Regulation of Financial Markets, based on coordination and cooperation". "On speculative funds, on fiscal heavens, CEO's and financial operators' earnings, EU must give the example".

- "We call to change the rules of accounts, which are important for our Economy's revival : The competent normative authorities must take action". "The issue of a sufficient Credit offer is of central importance for our Economy". "We don't accept that, during this Financial Crisis, the European Banks' capacity to lend money might be unjustly reduced by Capital's requirements and accountant's rules

* "During the German and French Presidencies, EU has resoçlutely prepared itself for the fight against Global Warming... EU is the 1st and only area in the World to have adopted a package of ambitious and legally binding rules to comply with International Aims"

- "We have now to convince our Friends and Partners, to get involved, in order to atteint, next December at Copenhagen, a Global Agreement worthy of whay is at stake. Our closer ally, the US, but also other big industrial countries, must commit themselves with the same force as the Europeans".

"Green Growth is a Chance ... and an opportunity to create jobs turned towards the Future. Europe must be a leader".

- But, at the same time, we must ensure that our companies remain competitive in the World. The ambitious European involvements on Climat must not lead into a position where EU industry might become a Victim of Unfair Competition. Climat protection and Competitvity must go together. If our International partners refuse to associate themselves to our efforts, we are determined to take measures to protect European Industry"

* "Europe must be more ambitious for its Industry" : "It must favor the emergence of strong European enterprises at a Global level".

- "As long as an International mechanism" to "monitor Public Aids at WTO level, and hinder 3rd Countries to give abusive subsidies to their enterprises, provoking unfair competition", is "not yet set up, we must consider Transitory European Solutions".

* "The current Public Debt is too heavy... We must head anew towards sound public finance, as soon as we'd have passed the crucial stage in this crisis".

* Last, but not least :  "Europe must play a top-level role in the World"

- "For that purpose,  it needs efficient Institutions. That's why we need Lisbon Treaty". "The 27 Member States decided, last December (2008) that the Treaty should enter into force before the end of this year (2009)". To obtain that, June EU Council must agree "on the Guarantees for Ireland".

- But, "to be able to act, EU needs Borders. An Enlargment without Limits is not possible", Sarkozy and Merkel stressed in an obvious reference to Turkey, etc.

- "In order to be strong, Europe must assume its Values and its Identity". "Human Rights .. are at the basis of our commitment for a Peaceful Development accross the World".

- "For that purpose, we shall strengthen our common Defence and Security policy".

* "We are ready to contribute to activate the EU towards the realisation of these aims, with our EU Partners".

"In order to succeed", Europe  "needs the active involvment of all, starting by Citizens themselves. That's why the June 7 rendez-vous is important", and "we are calling all Europeans to vote".

"We are convinced that, if Europe wants, Europe can", they conclude.

Precisely : - What can better forge "Europe's Will" than a "European Consciousness" emerging from political, democratic struggles to face Global Challenges, and open big New Horizons, including by crystal-clear Public Debates, with active EU Citizens' involvement, before the most important EU Decisions affecting People's lives ?

Precisely what "EuroFora"s project warns since 1997-2007, and unprecedented Majority Abstentions, since 1999-2004, added to 3 "NO" to EU Referenda in 2005 and 2007, proved meanwhile..

Let's hope that the Time wasted by some scandalous anti-European and anti-Democratic obstacles of the Past, will stimulate faster, simplified but substantial and persistent, efficient action.-


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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